Mkhwebane inquiry won't subpoena Ramaphosa to testify

Mkhwebane inquiry won't subpoena Ramaphosa to testify

The inquiry into suspended public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's fitness to hold office has declined her request to subpoena President Cyril Ramaphosa. 

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The subpoena, which was a request made by Mkhwebane's legal representative Dali Mpofu, was meant to compel Ramaphosa to answer questions around allegations of perjury he made against her.

But Parliament's legal representative Fatima Ebrahim told the committee on Monday that Mkhwebane's letter was unclear as to what basis Ramaphosa would be called to testify.

"The directives were clear that the public protector had to inform the committee on the basis of why the witness was sought. This is something that I struggled with in terms of that letter, as I couldn't unpack clearly what exactly it is that they wish to put to the president."

The committee's chairperson Ququdile Dyanti also reiterated that the issue would no longer be entertained. 

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"My sense in listening to members is that the issue of the subpoena is based on irrelevance, the matter of the president. We are not going to go that route, we are not doing it. We are not responding in the affirmative way to the public protector team. 

"And in fact, we are, on behalf of this committee, listening to the discussion here and the legal opinion, if there is a letter that we must write to the public protector's legal team is that the subpoena for the president is declined. This is based on the summary and the arguments listed on the legal opinion."

Last month, Advocate Mpofu told the committee that they would call Ramaphosa as a witness after he accused Mkhwebane of perjury. 


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